We have a committed and expert team of Governors who support and guide the School.

The Governors act as the Trustees of the School in respect of its status as a charity. They provide strategic guidance on the running of the School and are the point of last appeal on issues such as the exclusion of a pupil or employees’ grievances. They are also responsible for appointing the Headmistress and Bursars.

The Board of Governors consists of members with a wide range of knowledge and experience. Many are current parents, former parents or past pupils, but some have no previous connection with the School and therefore provide an even broader perspective. They are all volunteers who receive no remuneration and gain no pecuniary advantage from their position, but without them the School could not function either legally or practically.

The Chair of Governors’ postal address is:

c/o Downe House, Cold Ash, Thatcham, Berkshire, RG18 9JJ

The Chair may also be contacted via the Clerk to Governors, Mr Edward Valletta
Tel: +44(0)1635 200286   Email:

The full Board meets four times a year and there is a smaller Nominations Panel that is called together once a year to consider candidates for election as Governors. Committees (Finance and General Purposes (F&GP) Education, Safeguarding and Business Development) and the Estates Sub-Committee also meet four times a year in advance of Board meetings. In addition, Governors meet at least once a year to fulfil their statutory obligations as directors and trustees of the School’s various subsidiary bodies.

The current Governors are:

  • Ms Fru Hazlitt, BA (Chair of Governors)
  • Mr Timothy Boucher, BA, FCA (Chairman of Finance & General Purposes Committee)
  • Ms Elizabeth Clarke, BA, CPE
  • Ms Veryan Exelby, MA (Chair of Safeguarding Committee)
  • Mrs Fiona Holmes, BComm
  • Ms Sally McNair Scott, LLB (Chair of Business Development Committee)
  • Dr Christopher O’Kane, MA, MB BChir, MSc, DPhil
  • Mr Mark Ridley, BA, MA, MRICS (Chairman of Estates Sub-Committee)
  • Ms Caroline Ross, LLB, CIPD
  • Mr Joe Smith, BA MEd PGCE (Chairman of Education Committee)
  • Mr Nick Woods, BSc, FCA

Mr Edward Valletta acts as Clerk to the Governors.

Read pen pictures of our Governors here.

Our Headmistress

Meet the Headmistress of Downe House, Mrs Emma McKendrick.



Get directions to Downe House (RG18 9JJ). We are located on a 110-acre site in the village of Cold Ash in West Berkshire with excellent transport links, just two miles from the M4 and A34 and under an hour’s drive to Heathrow Airport.

About Us location 1000 x 1000 downe house school

Tours & Open Mornings

The best way to find out more about Downe House is to experience it for yourself. Book a personal tour or join us at one of our Open Mornings, available throughout the year.

A flexible and modern approach – Full Boarding | Flexi Boarding | Day Pupil – what’s your Downe House journey?
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